Everton’s Under-18s are back in action in the FA Youth Cup tonight (kick-off 7pm) as they play host to their Brighton & Hove Albion counterparts at Goodison Park.
Paul Tait’s young Blues experienced high drama in the previous round as they raced into a 2-0 lead at Stoke City only to be pegged back in the 93rd minute and forced into extra time.
The match went to penalties with visiting keeper Harry Tyrer proving to be the hero – saving three of the Potters spot-kicks.
Here’s a run down of some of the Everton starlets to look out for.
A prolific marksman – just what the Blues senior side have been missing this season – he stands out at this level because of his size and strength.
An aerial presence as well as a willing runner, Oldham-born Simms netted after just three minutes in the previous round at the bet365 Stadium.
Forward-thinking left-sided midfielder, Scouser Gordon made his first team debut as an 88 minute substitute in Everton’s 3-0 Europa League dead rubber win over Apollon Limassol in Cyprus back on December 7, 2017 aged just 16 years and 286 days.
Shortly after turning out at Goodison Park for the SportPesa Trophy match against Kenyan champions Gor Mahia in November he was reportedly eyed by German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
As mentioned earlier, the Crosby-born goalkeeper was the match-winner for the Blues at Stoke as he saved three of the four penalties he faced in the shoot-out, stopping shots from Adam Porter, Daniel Malone and Reece Jones.
It was a huge boost for the former Liverpool and Manchester City youngster who had conceded in the dying seconds of stoppage time in the initial 90 minutes having appeared to have the ball in his hands only to spill it in a penalty box scramble.
The powerful Nigerian-born attacking midfielder has been with Everton since he was 10 years old and is eligible to play for both the West African nation and England.
He is highly-rated by Tait who name-checks him alongside Simms and Gordon when it comes to his side’s “really good firepower.”
Another attacking midfielder, he lived in Dubai for seven years when he was younger but proved he could hack it on a cold January midweek night at Stoke in the last round when he cut inside from the left wing and smashed a delightful 20-yard effort in off the crossbar to leave home keeper Nathan Broome well beaten.